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Written by
Neil
Neil

Home of Adventure Travel?

Travolution report that:
Big Earth Media has launched an adventure travel site bigearth.co.uk which uses social media to deliver its “plan, share, discover” tag line.
The site is titled "Home of Adventure Travel". A very big claim for  a newly launched site! The site has limited content that focuses on the filming trips run by Russ Malkin. I like the look of the site and if planning an overland trip would definitely be interested in some of the content but am a bit bemused as to the aims of the site, especially as it aims to achieve it's goals through the use of social media. Does it aim to be an adventure travel resource/inspiration, an advertising platform for the TV shows or an income generating site? How many social media travel sites can we handle? How many forums, blogs, tweets and assosted social networks sites can we realisitically follow and regularly contribute to? Personally I follow 5 - 10 blogs regualrly and am active on 2 - 3 social network sites. Anymore and it is simply overload. I am under the impression that there is an army of web designers/developers and "new" marketers punting the theory that the route to huge traffic and revenue is to start a social networking site of some description. In the past year there have been a raft of "adventure travel" social media" websites launched. Are any of them worth interacting with on a regular basis? Have any reached critical mass? Are any of them making money? I don't think so. The users visit the sites to do some research and then soon become inactive on the site as their immediate need for information is met. Are they really going to remain active sharing all their experience when they are already busy on Facebook, Twitter etc. ? How do you generate income from your social media adventure travel site?
  • TourDust and Addicted to Travel have both gone down the commission on tour sales route, although they have limited ability to complete the transaction on their site and it was clearly not a top priority when they originally launched the site.
  • BigEarth has apparently decided to go down the affiliate path with links to a adventure travel and security company. (I was interested to see that Travolution reported this as "BigEarth.co.uk has signed a number of high-profile partners as part of its launch. Explore, the adventure-travel specialist which is part of FTSE-listed Holidaybreak, is its travel partner." - an interesting PR spin on what looks like an affiliate arrangement.)
  • Display advertising - CPM model went out the window years ago.
  • Adsense/Google - probably the best consistent income but not going to make you rich.
  • By selling something - tours/merchandise/videos etc., but probably not a good idea to dress your e-commerce site up as a social media platform as ultimately the community is not your main priority.
  • I am sure you will have a few other ideas as well.
So if it's fairly difficult to generate income from a social media orientated adventure travel website perhaps site owners should think twice before relying on social media to make their website a success and think carefully before giving their site an inflated tagline such as "The Home of Adventure Travel".
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